The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Fools and Liars

Anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (AGW) is a pseudo-religion for many people. They follow their apostles (e.g., Al Gore) and have their selected wise men (e.g., the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-IPCC). The problem is, their beliefs are based on flawed science, their projections are derived from inaccurate algorithms and self-serving models, and worse, there is now proof that their experimental data have been dishonestly manipulated for political and ideological reasons (e.g., google the recent "climategate” scandal).

The AGW true believers continuing attempts at debunking serious AGW skeptics are, in their own way, similar to a Church's attacks on those that question fundamental doctrine. The church’s arguments sound good on the surface, but fall apart upon closer examination. For example, Al Gore denigrates those who are asking pertinent questions about AGW (“The science is settled,” he declares pompously), but at the same time, he refuses to debate the issues because, as we say in the sciences, he's exactly one question deep.

Richard Fernandez of the The Belmont Club comments on the fact that the original data used to develop the dire predictions of global warming has somehow been “lost” and that only the data that has been messaged by the institutions now embroiled in the “climategate” scandal remains. The implication—there is no way for independent scientific verification of the climate projections or the models that were derived to produce them. Hmmm. Fernandez comments:
The main objective criticism of the carbon-based warming model is that it is not proved. That’s different from saying it’s not true. It may or may not be true. However, until it is conclusively shown to be true and the results can be reproduced, it would be unwise public policy to embark on a trillion dollar amelioration program, with far-reaching economic, social and environmental effects. Government normally intervenes when there is a compelling public interest to do so. It should never intervene on the basis of an uncertain bet. Government is not the racetrack where bureaucrats can bet taxpayer money on the horses they fancy.

Nor can the “precautionary principle” be rationally invoked without recognizing the possibility that the climatologists, deprived of a real fact base, may in fact be getting their prescription wrong. The precautionary principle would assign danger to both the chance you may get a cough and the possibility that the brown liquid in the unmarked bottle may not be what you think it is, because the label has peeled off long ago. Is it Nyquil or is it Drano? And do you feel lucky today? Robert de Niro and Christopher Walken illustrated the principle of dangerous living in the Deer Hunter. “Climate change. Click.” Then spin the cylinders again. But the question must be asked, is the world allowed to peek in to the chamber? Isn’t it allowed that much? Can we have the data please?

Data? Nah, you have to believe! Otherwise, you’re a “denier.”

Even Clive Crook at the Left-leaning Atlantic is troubled by all of this. At first he argued that climategate was much ado about nothing, but now, after examining the emails and the data that have been released he thinks otherwise:
The closed-mindedness of these supposed men of science, their willingness to go to any lengths to defend a preconceived message, is surprising even to me. The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering. And, as Christopher Booker argues, this scandal is not at the margins of the politicised IPCC process. It is not tangential to the policy prescriptions emanating from what David Henderson called the environmental policy milieu. It goes to the core of that process …

I'm also surprised by the IPCC's response. Amid the self-justification [for the flawed IPCC report that is used by the likes of Al Gore to justify global warming], I had hoped for a word of apology, or even of censure … At any rate I had expected no more than ordinary evasion. The declaration from Rajendra Pachauri [of the IPCC] that the emails confirm all is as it should be is stunning. Science at its best. Science as it should be. Good lord. This is pure George Orwell. And these guys call the other side "deniers".

And remember, this comment comes from a once strong defender of AGW.

But none of this means that those of us in the Center who are skeptical of the claims associated with the AGW religion can’t also be “green” in the best sense of the word. For the most part, we’re in favor of complete energy independence, alternative energy development, electric and other alternative fuel vehicles, pollution controls, and recycling. It's just that we refuse to accept politically motivated “science” as fact, particularly when it serves as the basis for policy that can have far reaching deleterious affects that may do nothing to green the planet.

Rather than traveling to Copenhagen, our oh-so-smart President might take a few hours out and meet with serious scientists who have a rather different view of climate data than Al Gore. What he’ll learn is that more objective study is needed before trillion dollar commitments are made to a "science" that has an extremely shaky foundation. He’d also learn that no one yet knows the true impact of the human component in the earth's climatic system, and anyone who claims they do is either a fool or a liar.